Many of you gardeners know about the Hardy Plant Society's annual spring plant sale at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Hillsboro. If you don't, imagine a big barny space that, instead of cows and chickens, is filled floor to ceiling with plants, trees, bulbs and all things green and growing. Then add in hordes of plant lust-filled gardeners who've been reading their garden catalogs and plant books all winter, making lists and just waiting for this two-day event. It's every man for himself, the check-out lines are long and the volunteers harried.
Now imagine the same space full of the same nurseries and wholesale plant vendors with only with half the people, no lines to check out and a much saner, quieter experience. And it's in September, one of the best times of the year to plant in the Northwest. All the gardeners are burned out from a spring and summer of planting, watering, worrying and obsessing about the plants they bought last spring, so they've taken to their armchairs with their catalogs and G & Ts. Which means smart shoppers have this plant sale and our wonderful Indian summer to get a jump on next spring.